Spartacus: The Revolt - Part 1
A gladiator Latin : gladiator"swordsman", from gladius"sword" was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their gladiatori Sex 2 and their legal and social standing by appearing in the arena.
Most were despised as slaves, schooled under harsh conditions, socially marginalized, and segregated even in death. Irrespective of their origin, gladiators offered spectators an example of Rome's martial ethics and, gladiatori Sex 2 fighting or dying well, they could inspire admiration and popular acclaim.
They were celebrated in high and low art, and their value as entertainers was commemorated in precious and commonplace objects throughout the Roman world. The gladiatori Sex 2 of gladiatorial combat is open to debate. There is evidence of it in funeral rites during the Punic Wars of the 3rd century BC, and thereafter it rapidly became an essential feature of politics and social life in the Roman world.
Its popularity led to its use in ever more lavish and costly games. The gladiator games lasted for nearly a thousand years, reaching their peak between gladiatori Sex 2 1st century BC and the 2nd century AD. The games finally declined during the early 5th century after the adoption of Christianity as state church gladiatori Sex 2 the Roman Empire inalthough beast hunts venationes continued into the 6th century.
Early literary sources seldom agree on the origins of gladiators and the gladiator games. Reappraisal of pictorial evidence supports a Campanian origin, or at least a borrowing, for the games and gladiators. The Paestum frescoes may represent the continuation of a much older tradition, acquired or inherited from Greek colonists of the 8th century BC. This is described as a munus plural: muneraa commemorative duty owed the manes of a dead ancestor by his descendants. The war in Samnium, immediately afterwards, was attended with equal danger and an equally glorious conclusion.
The enemy, besides their other warlike preparation, had made their battle-line to glitter with new and splendid arms. There were two corps: the shields of the one were inlaid with gold, of the other with silver The Gladiatori Sex 2 had already heard of these splendid accoutrements, but their generals had taught them that a soldier should be rough to look on, not adorned with gold and silver but putting his trust in iron and in courage The Dictatoras decreed by the senatecelebrated a triumph, in which by far the finest show was afforded by the captured armour.
So the Romans made use of the splendid armour of their enemies to do honour to their gods; while the Campanians, in consequence of their pride and in hatred of the Samnites, equipped after this gladiatori Sex 2 the gladiators who furnished them entertainment at their feasts, and bestowed on them the name Samnites. Livy's account skirts the funereal, sacrificial function of early Roman gladiator combats gladiatori Sex 2 reflects the later theatrical ethos of the Roman gladiator show: splendidly, exotically armed and armoured barbarianstreacherous and degenerate, are dominated gladiatori Sex 2 Roman iron and native courage.
Their Campanian allies stage a dinner entertainment using gladiators who may not be Samnites, but play the Samnite role. Other groups and tribes would join the cast list as Roman territories expanded. Most gladiators were armed and armoured in the manner of the enemies of Rome. In BC, Marcus Aemilius Lepidusgladiatori Sex 2 consul and augurwas honoured by his gladiatori Sex 2 with three gladiatori Sex 2 of gladiatora munera in the Forum Romanumusing twenty-two pairs of gladiators.
High status non-Romans, and possibly Romans too, volunteered as his gladiators. The enthusiastic adoption of gladiatoria munera by Rome's Iberian allies shows how easily, and how early, the culture of the gladiator munus permeated places far from Rome itself. By BC, "small" Roman munera private or publicprovided by an editor of relatively low importance, may have been so commonplace and unremarkable they were not considered worth recording: . The climax of the show which was big for the time was that in three days seventy four gladiators fought.
In BC, the ruling consuls offered Rome its first taste of state-sponsored " barbarian combat" demonstrated by gladiators from Capua, as part of a training program for the military. It gladiatori Sex 2 immensely popular. Where traditional ludi had been dedicated to a deity, such as Jupiterthe munera could be dedicated to an aristocratic sponsor's divine or heroic ancestor. Gladiator gladiatori Sex 2 offered their sponsors extravagantly expensive but effective opportunities for self-promotion, and gave their clients and potential voters exciting entertainment at little or no cost to themselves.
A politically ambitious privatus private citizen might postpone his deceased father's munus to the election season, when a generous show might drum up votes; those in power and those seeking it needed the support of the plebeians and their tribuneswhose votes might be won with the mere promise of an exceptionally good show. In the closing years of the politically and socially unstable Late Republic, any aristocratic owner of gladiators had political muscle at his disposal.
Despite an already enormous personal debt, he used gladiatori Sex 2 pairs in silvered armour. Gladiatorial games, usually linked with beast shows, spread throughout the Republic and beyond. Legislation of AD by Marcus Aurelius did little to stop it, and was completely ignored by his son, Commodus. The earliest munera took place at or near the tomb of the deceased and these were organised by their munerator who made the offering.
Later games were held by an editoreither identical with the munerator or an official employed by him. As time passed, these titles and meanings may have merged. From the Principate onwards, private citizens could hold munera and own gladiators only under Imperial gladiatori Sex 2, and the gladiatori Sex 2 of editor was gladiatori Sex 2 tied to state officialdom. Bigger games were put on by senior magistrates, who could better afford them.
The largest and gladiatori Sex 2 lavish of all gladiatori Sex 2 paid for by the emperor himself. The earliest types of gladiator were named after Rome's enemies of that time: the SamniteThracian and Gaul. The Samnite, heavily armed, elegantly helmed and probably the most popular type, was renamed secutor and the Gaul renamed murmilloonce these former enemies had been conquered then absorbed into Rome's Empire.
In gladiatori Sex 2 mid-republican munuseach type seems to have fought against a gladiatori Sex 2 or identical type. In the later Republic gladiatori Sex 2 early Empire, various "fantasy" types were introduced, and were set against dissimilar but complementary types.
For example, the bareheaded, nimble retiarius "net-man"armoured only at the left arm and shoulder, pitted his net, trident and dagger against the more heavily armoured, helmeted Secutor. Passing literary references to others has allowed their gladiatori Sex 2 reconstruction.
Other novelties introduced around this time included gladiators who fought from chariots or cartsor from horseback. The trade in gladiators was empire-wide, and subjected to official supervision. Rome's military success produced a supply of soldier-prisoners who were redistributed for use in State mines or amphitheatres and for sale on the open market. In Rome's military ethos, enemy soldiers who had surrendered or allowed their own capture and enslavement had been granted an unmerited gift of life.
Their training as gladiators would give them opportunity to redeem their honour in the munus. For the poor, and for non-citizens, enrollment in a gladiator school offered a trade, regular food, housing of sorts and a fighting chance of fame and fortune. Mark Antony chose a troupe of gladiators to be his personal bodyguard.
Tiberius offered several retired gladiatorssesterces each to return to the arena. From the 60s AD female gladiators appear as rare and "exotic markers of exceptionally lavish spectacle".
Cassius Dio takes pains to point gladiatori Sex 2 that when the much gladiatori Sex 2 emperor Titus used female gladiators, they were of acceptably low class. Some regarded female gladiators of any type or class as a symptom of corrupted Roman appetites, morals and womanhood. Before he gladiatori Sex 2 emperor, Septimius Severus may have attended the Antiochene Olympic Games, which had been revived by the emperor Commodus and included traditional Greek female athletics.
His attempt to give Rome gladiatori Sex 2 similarly dignified display of female athletics was met by the crowd with ribald chants and cat-calls. CaligulaTitusHadrianLucius VerusCaracallaGeta and Didius Julianus were all said to have gladiatori Sex 2 in the arena, either in public or private, but risks to themselves were minimal.
Commodus was a fanatical participant at the ludiand compelled Rome's elite to attend his performances as gladiator, bestiarius or venator. Most of his performances as a gladiatori Sex 2 were bloodless affairs, fought with wooden swords; he invariably won. He was said to have restyled Nero's colossal statue in gladiatori Sex 2 own image as " Hercules Reborn", dedicated to himself as "Champion gladiatori Sex 2 secutores ; only left-handed fighter to conquer twelve times one thousand men.
On another occasion, he decapitated a running ostrich with a specially designed dart, carried the bloodied head and his gladiatori Sex 2 over to the Senatorial seats and gesticulated as though they were next. Gladiator games were advertised well beforehand, on billboards that gave the reason for the game, its editor, venue, date and the number of paired gladiators ordinarii to be used. Other highlighted features could include details of venationesexecutions, music and any luxuries to be provided for the spectators, such as an awning against the sun, water sprinklers, food, drink, sweets gladiatori Sex 2 occasionally "door prizes".
For enthusiasts and gamblers, a more detailed gladiatori Sex 2 libellus was distributed on the day of the munusshowing the names, types and match records of gladiator pairs, and their order of appearance.
The night gladiatori Sex 2 the munusthe gladiators were given a banquet and opportunity to order their personal and private affairs; Futrell notes its similarity to a ritualistic or sacramental "last meal".
The event may also have been used to drum up more publicity for the imminent game. Official munera of the early Imperial era seem to have followed a standard form munus legitimum. They were followed by a small band of gladiatori Sex 2 tubicines playing a fanfare. Images of the gods were carried in to "witness" the proceedings, followed by a scribe to record the outcome, and a man carrying the palm branch used to honour victors.
The magistrate editor entered among a retinue who carried the arms and armour to be used; the gladiators presumably came in last. The entertainments often began with venationes beast hunts and bestiarii beast fighters. A crude Pompeian graffito suggests a burlesque of musicians, dressed as animals named Ursus tibicen flute-playing bear and Pullus cornicen horn-blowing chickenperhaps as accompaniment to clowning by gladiatori Sex 2 during a "mock" contest of the ludi meridiani.
Increasingly the munus was the editor' s gift to spectators who had come to expect the best as their due. Lightly armed and armoured fighters, such as the retiariuswould tire less rapidly than their heavily armed opponents; most bouts would have lasted 10 to 15 minutes, or 20 minutes at most. Spectators preferred to watch highly skilled, well matched ordinarii with complementary fighting styles; these were the most costly to train and to hire. A general melee of several, lower-skilled gladiators was far less costly, but also less popular.
Even among the ordinariimatch winners might have to fight a new, well-rested opponent, either a tertiarius "third choice gladiator" by prearrangement; or a "substitute" gladiator suppositicius who fought at the whim of the editor as an unadvertised, unexpected "extra".
Most were probably of poor quality,  but the emperor Caracalla chose to test a notably skilled and successful fighter named Bato against first one supposicitiuswhom he beat, and gladiatori Sex 2 another, who killed him.
Combats between experienced, well trained gladiators demonstrated a considerable degree of stagecraft. Among the cognoscenti, bravado and skill in combat were esteemed over mere hacking and bloodshed; some gladiators made their careers and reputation from bloodless victories.
Suetonius describes an exceptional munus by Nero, in which gladiatori Sex 2 was killed, "not even noxii enemies of the state. Trained gladiators were expected to observe professional gladiatori Sex 2 of combat.
Most matches employed a senior referee summa rudis and an assistant, shown in mosaics with long staffs rudes to caution or separate opponents at some crucial point in the match. Referees were usually retired gladiators whose decisions, judgement and discretion were, for the most part, respected; gladiatori Sex 2 they could stop bouts entirely, or pause them to allow the combatants rest, refreshment and a rub-down.
Ludi and munera were accompanied by music, played as interludes, or building to a "frenzied crescendo" during combats, perhaps to heighten the suspense during a gladiator's appeal; blows may have been accompanied by trumpet-blasts. Their instruments are a long straight trumpet tubicena large curved horn Cornu and a water organ hydraulis.
A match was won by the gladiator who overcame his opponent, or killed him outright. Victors received the palm branch and an award from the editor. An outstanding fighter might receive a gladiatori Sex 2 crown and money from an appreciative crowd but for anyone originally condemned ad ludum the greatest reward was manumission emancipationsymbolised by the gift of a wooden training sword or staff rudis from the editor.
Martial describes a match between Priscus and Veruswho fought so evenly and bravely for so long that when both acknowledged defeat at the same instant, Titus awarded victory and a rudis to each. His gravestone in Sicily includes his record: "Flamma, secutorlived 30 years, fought 34 times, won 21 times, fought to a draw 9 times, gladiatori Sex 2 4 times, a Syrian by nationality. Delicatus made this for his deserving comrade-in-arms.